Constructed on an old military base used to defend the allies during World War II, the airfield was converted to the Hewanorra International Airport in the early 1970’s. It now serves as the larger of the island’s two airports, primarily handling international flights. At present, the airport accommodates upwards of 900,000 passengers on an annual basis on regular scheduled commercial and chartered flights directly from out of the region markets including the UK, USA and Canada.
The route taken by a departing passenger through the facility is simple. From the curb side set-down point through to the check-in area, to emigration and passport control to security and screening, and to the departure lounge and adjacent gates, all occur over a single level. However, with the growth in the island’s tourism, travel and leisure business and the consequent increasing throughput of passengers, this route and spaces in the airport become saturated at times of peak operation, leading to an uncomfortable experience.
Recent improvements to the curb side set-down and check-in areas have yield positive results, however, the St Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority recognised that the inadequacy of, particularly, the emigration and departure lounge areas of the airport, still necessitated some attention. The authority, therefore, has sought to rectify this issue with upgraded of the interior, improved flow and increased capacity of these spaces. These improvements are to provide a more pleasant experience for passengers, workers of the airport, airlines and concession stores workers on both the landside emigration and the airside departure lounge.
The extension works consist of the renovation of a section of the existing airside departure lounge and the construction of a simple but elegant exposed structural steel frame extension towards the south, measuring over 3,789 square feet internal space and 2,780 square feet of external concourse space. The design of the roof allows for the migration of natural light over the course of the day to give the space a feel of openness and lightness.